The airmen of the HDF 86th Helicopter Wing recently participated in a Hungarian–Romanian air search and rescue exercise.
Based on a bilateral agreement concluded in Arad on 17 October 2002, the objective of the annually organized search and rescue (SAR) exercise is to recover and rescue aircrews of military aircraft in distress during peacetime. Furthermore, the task system also includes the use of IFR and VFR search procedures as well as the checking of the operation of the alert system according to the bilateral agreements, national provisions and NATO STANAGs, and the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Under the simulated scenario, a H145M helicopter flying in the area of Dóc issued a mayday call shortly after take-off, and subsequently the communication was cut off between the pilots and the ATC tower. Having received the alert, a H145M SAR helicopter was scrambled from the airbase of the HDF 86th Helicopter Wing. It arrived at the crash site by following the last radar coordinates, and then its personnel started rescuing the injured and stabilizing their condition. Because a single rescue unit proved to be not enough for tending to the injured, two Puma air ambulance helicopters of the meanwhile alerted Romanian SAR service landed near the helicopter in distress, and their crews immediately started providing medical care and helping with incident scene management. On the second day of the exercise, the Hungarian SAR crews flew to a Romanian incident scene, where they were tasked with providing professional and quick medical care in the wake of a mass casualty incident, in cooperation with the Romanian search and rescue unit.
Besides the military diplomacy value of the exercise, it is very important to achieve that the participating nations learn about each other’s procedures. Moreover, the exercise provides an excellent opportunity for the newly appointed SAR crews to practice the management of complicated incident scenes.